Bangladesh official says ferry has capsized

Associated Press
Overcrowded passenger boats navigate through Buriganga River in Dhaka

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Overcrowded passenger boats navigate through Buriganga River in Dhaka July 27, 2014. Millions of residents in Dhaka have started the exodus home from the capital city ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (BANGLADESH - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY MARITIME)

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A passenger ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized Monday in central Bangladesh, a government official said.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority Chairman Samsuddoha Khondaker said M.V. Pinak was crossing the River Padma in Munshiganj district when it capsized.

Local media reports said that up to 250 passengers were on board when the accident happened but this could not be independently confirmed.

Khondaker said not many details were known yet about the cause of the accident or if there were many survivors.

Local police chief Tofazzal Hossain said some of the passengers would have been able to swim to safety but many were feared trapped or drowned.

Ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh due to poor safety standards for the vessels, which are often overloaded.

In May, about 50 people died in the same district in a ferry accident.

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